Where water services are provided by Irish Water to a dwelling, the owner must register with Irish Water as a customer. The owner must inform Irish Water whether or not the dwelling is his or her principal private residence or notify it in writing that he or she is not the occupier of the dwelling and instead provide the date of commencement of any Letting or Licence Agreement and the name of each person who has entered into the Letting or Licence Agreement. That information should be provided no later than 20 working days after the statutory provision came into force on the 1st October 2015 or 20 days after any subsequent change in occupation.
Where the owner of a dwelling fails to notify Irish Water of the names of the occupier of the property, the owner becomes liable to Irish Water for unpaid water charges.
As a result of amending legislation passed in 2015, there is now an implied clause in Residential Letting Agreements / Licence Agreements to the effect that the occupier should be responsible for water charges, unless the parties specifically agree otherwise. While this will be of assistance to a Landlord in holding a Tenant responsible for payment of water charges, it will not excuse a Landlord from liability for the water charges, unless the Landlord has notified Irish Water of the name of the occupier / occupiers and provided it with the information mentioned above.